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For første gang vil land som Storbritannia og Frankrike trekke sine ambassadører ut av Israel

Posted by Fredsvenn den desember 4, 2012

The Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank.

The vote to grant Palestine observer state status at the UN last month brought a rare promise of hope to a land where it has been in short supply. It is disappointing, however, that European countries failed to endorse the bid unanimously. As former European heads of state, we find such a lack of coherence difficult to reconcile with the European Union’s support for a two-state solution.

The same gap between rhetoric and action can be seen in the EU policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are encroaching on the land of the prospective Palestinian state and rendering it ever harder to achieve. Just last week, the Israeli government authorised settlement on a crucial area of land connecting East Jerusalem to the West Bank.

A report by 22 European NGOs, Trading Away Peace, reveals that Europe imports 15 times as much from the Israeli settlements as it does from the Palestinians. The EU has repeatedly urged Israel to «immediately end all settlement activity». And yet, by trading with settlements, Europe is inadvertently shoring up their economic viability and contributing to their permanence. It is also stifling the chances of economic development in the West Bank, undermining the billions the EU is simultaneously investing in Palestinian state-building.

Moves against Israel will be made in the next few days following Netanyahu’s decision to move ahead on planning in E1 and build 3,000 housing units in the settlement blocs, and in East Jerusalem, say senior European diplomats. Britain, France, Sweden, Spain, and Denmark summon Israeli envoys in their capitals over Netanyahu’s plan to erect 3,000 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “London is furious about the E1 decision,” a European diplomat told Haaretz. The US has issued its third condemnation of Israel’s plan, calling the move «damaging» to the prospects of a two-state solution.

This is Europe’s big chance to help the two-state solution become reality

Netanyahu aides: Israel will not cancel settlement expansion plans

For first time, Britain, France may recall ambassadors to protest Israel’s settlement construction

Foreign countries summon Israeli ambassadors over settlement controversy

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